Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart



Its the small ones, the everyday ones, the private ones that continue to steal my breath away and cause me to whisper those quiet prayers of thanksgiving. The past few days I've just enjoyed the moments I've been blessed by sharing with my kids. Making myself be "in" the moment and be completely aware of how incredible each one is.

Moments like...

Filming our sweet little girl take 7 independent steps in her walker. I became speechless for a little while as I watched her and soaked it all in. My tiny, almost 5 year old girl moving her body one little inch at a time all on her own. What a moment!

Watching my beautiful 12 year old sleep while I sat next to her. In that moment I was flooded with memories of her as a baby, a toddler, a little girl and now those moments have gone. She has been transformed into a young lady right before my eyes and I am so aware of her beauty, inside and out. Oh how I love her silly heart.

Driving home last night with my son. Just him and I on our way home from the track meet. As we sipped Sonic drinks and talked about his life. A window inside his heart opened up and we talked about everything. Baseball. School. His sweet girlfriend. Goals. Dreams. Sonic slushes. The song on the radio. You name it and we brought it up. How blessed am I to be his mom. To be given moments like this to spend with such a great kid.

Stopping to watch the St. Jude commercial with my Ashley Kate. She stops in her tracks, gets our attention, and makes sure we all see. The images must bring back such memories to her. Memories I had hoped she would never have, but now I know that she does. She points to the images on the screen and her eyes tell such a story. I talk to her about what we see and she makes sure I know that she remembers. Hospital rooms, masks, MRI tunnels, x-ray, being sick. Her heart is hurting in those moments and I can read it all over her face. She recognizes where she's been and that those children are there now. This is such a humbling moment for me. She's home with me now. She's made it. She knows where she's been. All I can do is talk her through the commercial and let her know that I understand what she's trying to communicate to us. I understand how blessed we are. I swallow hard every time we go through this and I have yet to get through it without tears rolling down my cheeks.

Being his safe place. After a tough loss at the ball park last weekend and knowing my son was carrying the weight of it all on his shoulders. As much as it hurt to watch him endure it was yet another moment. I desperately wanted to rewind and give him that opportunity over again, but I could not. As he walked back to the dugout I stood above it and saw that not one word was said to him. Not one. Only magnifying the burden he was carrying. 9 team mates stood silently as he put down his bat and began to put back on his catchers gear. Although I knew it was not that moment that lost the game but many, many moments over the last hour and a half it didn't matter. It just didn't. This would be the moment that was remembered and I could see the hurt in his eyes. It was at that moment I knew he was growing up. Going through tough times on his own, carrying the burdens on his own, and knowing that I could do nothing to change the situation. People think playing baseball is silly. I think its teaching him life lessons.

As we packed up our things and drove out of the parking lot all I could say was, "Its ok, we are your safe place. Go ahead. " and he did. Tears rolled down his cheeks and mine.

Tucking her in. In that big girl bed. As she sleeps. The moment I peek in at her and find the need to do something, anything just so I can tip toe closer to steal another glance. I dreamt of those moments night after night after night in a hospital room so far away. I just wanted to watch her sleep in her own bed, in her own room, in her own home. Not a night goes by that I don't realize how blessed we have been. So many of our friends didn't come home to their beds. So many. It still breaks my heart and always will. May I never take this moment for granted.

Holding Allie tight. She's been sick for a few days and all she wants to do is climb on my lap. Those long legs taking up the entire space and her head snuggled in close. When she's not feeling well she becomes that little girl again, just for a moment. Just needing to be held.

Listening to Dave say to me, "When is the last time you touched a tree?" He went on to explain how he and Ash had spent the evening outside. When you take a walk with our Ashley the whole world comes alive. Those details that most of us pass by and never take notice of? she stops and appreciates. She stopped to touch and feel the bark of a tree last night. She investigated it, rubbed her tiny hands across it, looked up at the sky though its branches and then looked at her daddy and signed, "A tree". Smiled and went back to touching it. So he did to. When is the last time you listened to the birds sing? Touched a tree? Picked up a leaf? Felt the grass? Soaked in every ounce of being outside that you could? These are the moments I live everyday with my Ashley. She can hear a birds soft singing from miles away and she pauses, concentrates on the sound, and signs "listen" every single day as we go from our front door to the car. It makes me smile. It causes me to live, to really live in that moment.

My days are filled with moments. I'm enjoying them so very, very much. A day will come when my children are grown and its the memories of these little moments that I'll hold so dear. I don't want to ignore them, but rather plant them in soil of my heart so that I'll never forget. Life is blessed.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home